Accountants (of the certifying kind) have seen the light of continuous assurance coming. The vast majority of them reacted by being the rabbits [certainly not of the Winnebago / Native American trickster type ..!]; though assuming the headlights were and are still very distant, sitting quite still…
A select few have responded differently – embracing some change as inevitable, researching how Continuous Assurance might be, in times of proliferating XBRL and the like.
That’s OK. And laudable for the Virtue of facing the danger not ducking.
But … all of the assurance industry is still lock, stock and barrel dependent on being the Third Party in agency models.
And now, blockchain tech is around the corner, promising all sorts of unbelievable new ways of transferring trust. If only one could build some system(ic) in which any principal would be able to Read all minute transactions of an agent, and would be able to reliably (…) make sense of it – then the information quality (read: [non]uncertainty, [non] information (access, processing capability) difference) would be immediately visible and actionable. Undoing the need for a trusted third party to give a second opinion that is so beaten down to platitudes anyway that the usefulness has deteriorated way beyond what third parties themselves still believe (if they wouldn’t, who would…?). And note the italics of trusted.
Trusted – the thing that blockchain technology spreads so evenly, so extremely to the opposite of the ultimate non-spread of one person/entity.